First/Last – Tiny Rhymes

August 25, 2016

“Featuring tight vocal harmonies, richly melodic string lines, and the introspective songwriting of leader Sharon Mok, the group has received favorable press from its native Buffalo and beyond. Artvoice (Buffalo) writes, “Some people like to write songs while others tell stories. Vocalist/guitarist Sharon Mok tells her audience a story. Her voice floats beautifully above the acoustic sounds of her “chamber-folk” band only to be matched with the soothing sounds of cello and violin. Tiny Rhymes offers listeners tranquility and leisure and it’s clear they’re here to stay.”

Tiny Rhymes is a chamber folk band originally from Buffalo but recently relocated to Pittsburgh. After completing a Summer tour, bandleader Sharon Mok (Guitar/Vocals) is settling into her new city and I for one cannot wait for her to make her mark here. Get a sense of what we are in store for by checking out the lovely debut EP A Kinder History via Forest Park Recordings. I want to thank Sharon for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Joanna Newsom, Have One On Me. It’s an album I can listen to on repeat, even years later, and still pick up subtle things about the instrumentation I may have never noticed before. And it feels good to sing those melodies!
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • I don’t know if you could call this a “least favorite” album, but I did leave Brad Paisley Christmas on repeat overnight as a prank with the express purpose of annoying someone, so does that count?
  • First concert attended?
  • I think the first concert I bought tickets for was to see Sarah Harmer and Josh Ritter in my hometown (Kitchener, Ontario) during high school, a show that blew me away.
  • Last concert?
  • The last big concert I went to was Snarky Puppy, with Lucy Woodward opening in Buffalo, before I moved here.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Wow. I’d have to say that my favorite concert of all time might have been when I saw the Flaming Lips play on a stage overlooking the Niagara Escarpment, and Wayne Coyne blasted glitter all over the crowd with a homemade cannon. It was also pretty special when I saw Gord Downie perform a solo set during college (I went to college in his hometown).
  • Least favorite concert?
  • I really can’t say. Of course we’ve all been through concerts that have been tough to watch, or maybe even boring, but knowing that the artist is putting forth an effort and sharing their songs with you makes it hard to criticize the music, wouldn’t you agree? I can’t say that I go to a lot of shows where the artist is less than earnest in their effort, or at least their desire to make music. OK, in that regard, I guess seeing an artist completely wasted on stage is the most painful kind of concert. But I’ve only seen that once.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • I’m so excited for my fresh start in Pittsburgh. While in Buffalo, it was easy to let my creative self slide. Now I’m self-employed (as a piano technician, and musician) and I don’t think I could have picked a better city to do this in. I’ve already made great friends and have friendly neighbors; the parks are nice, I love the hills, and the food is good!

Thanks, Sharon. I totally agree that when a performer puts it out there on stage, it is very difficult to criticize that but as you pointed out, when an artist isn’t giving it their all, whether drugs or alcohol are a factor or not, then I believe it is fair game.